Indian freestyle wrestling superstar and mixed martial artist Arjan Bhullar has made it very clear, he’s fixated on upsetting Filipino-American heavyweight Brandon “The Truth” Vera and ending the 42-year-old veteran’s ONE Championship world title reign.
All other heavyweights can wait.
ONE recently bolstered its heavyweight division with a myriad of high-profile signings, including Iranian Greco-Roman wrestling world champion Amir Aliakbari, and grappling legends Tom DeBlass and Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida.
Though Bhullar is excited for a host of potential matchups inside the ONE Circle, the 34-year-old won’t take his eyes off the prize, and vows to defeat Vera to claim the ONE Heavyweight World Championship.
“The signings have been really exciting, big names and world-level talent. The heavyweight division has quickly become the toughest division on the roster. I can’t wait to get in the Circle with all of these guys,” said Bhullar.
“But no one else matters to me right now except for Brandon Vera. We have a contract in place. Once I get that belt, I’m looking forward to taking on all challengers.”
Besides Vera, however, Bhullar is particularly interested in potentially taking on BJJ World Champion Marcus Almeida in the ONE Championship Circle. It’s a compelling matchup between two grapplers with similar training methodologies, but vastly different competitive combat sports experience.
Bhullar made his name in the world of wrestling, having represented Canada at the 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 World Championships, at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, at the 2007 Pan American Games and at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Almeida, on the other hand, is considered a legend in the submission grappling circles.
Bhullar, for one, believes he has the upperhand over Almeida, owing to his world-class wrestling ability.
“We both represent Checkmat Jiu-Jitsu, so we’ve been taught similar techniques. I will never be as good as he (Buchecha) is in pure Jiu-Jitsu, but MMA Jiu-Jitsu is a different animal. I will always be able to control where the fight takes place with superior wrestling,” said Bhullar.
“Buchecha is a big name in the BJJ world with lots of potential for MMA. Great to see him in ONE Championship, and good for him for getting an ambassador role as well. But the only challenge that matters right now is Brandon Vera. That’s the contract I’ve signed. Once that business is handled, then I look forward to others including Buchecha.”
Bhullar’s bout against Vera has yet to be finalized and officially announced, although the two heavyweights are expected to face each later this year or early 2021. Assuming Covid-19 restrictions begin to relax between national borders, the promotion can start developing concrete plans.
Despite the lengthy wait, however, Bhullar is keeping sharp and staying ready for the biggest fight of his career. If he can defeat Vera, and capture the ONE Heavyweight World Championship, he’ll get to realize his dream of leading India on the global stage of martial arts.
“The heavyweight division has never been more competitive and exciting. I would stack our division up against any other promotion in the world and I feel our guys match up well if there were any cross-promotion fights,” Bhullar concluded.
“I look forward to being the champion of the division and beating back every challenger.”